Chapter 1: ''It's just a dream'' (Nana)
Heavy thuds resounded behind her as she made her way through the bushes. ''I must get there, I mustn't let them catch me this time'' she was muttering under her breath as she paused for a brief second to still her shaking nerves….''Oh God, God please not this time, not again, not anymore''. She had grown accustomed to this part of the jungle and could find her way even in the dark. She mentally outlined all the paths she way going to cross….''About 200 meters westward, that path should take me back to town''. She ran as fast as her small frame could carry her.
''Those trees….just let me get to them then I can disappear into the night forever.'' Her mind worked faster than her feet.
Sometimes flew pass her as she ducked then stood still for a while to see if anyone was close. There was laughter, it was faint but she was sure it was meant to taunt her. That wasn't her worry, for all she could think of was how to get away as far as possible from them.
So she ran faster. Then this time, something caught her leg. She fell. ''Nooo!''
''Wake up, wake up Altine. You are at it again'' Nana said to her as she shook her best friend vigorously.
''Altine, Altine'' This time Nana had to shout to wake her up and bring her back to reality. She tried to calm her down by rocking her as she held tight to her shoulders.
''It's not fair, I almost made it'' Altine was sobbing softly as she lay cradled on Nana's shoulder.
''I would have made it Nana, I would have if that twig hadn't caught my leg.''
''Listen to me. It's all a dream, just a dream. It'll be ok Altine. You just have to get pass these dreams. They are making you a shadow of yourself.''
''How do I do that ehn? I don't know how. You have no idea do you? I feel like I am never going to be able to escape these people in my dreams. If I can't do that, then I am caught in this thing forever'' she said pointing outward like she could actually see what thing she referred to. She got out of bed and paced slowly sobbing quietly.
She had come to depend so much on her dreams as an escape; she would go back to bed and hope that when she dreamt again, she'd get away from her captors.
''You can't continue like this Altine, you should see someone, a professional, someone you can talk to who has something more sensible to say to you than I do. Please, it's not as much in your dream as it is in your mind.''
''I have told you I don't need anyone-no offence to you Nana, you are the best. You know that all those doctors want is to make money off anyone so they'll tell you anything just to keep the money coming and to keep the money flowing into their pockets. I don't trust them.'' Altine complained.
''Then maybe you should come with me to church, I could introduce you to Pastor Kofi and he will help you, he deals with this sort of things all the time you know.'' Nana urged.
''No!'' Altine cut in sharply. ''I've told you again and again, I don't trust them all. They are a bunch of liars and will say anything to keep you coming to church and giving money to enrich their purses. Before I know it, he'll be telling the church how sinful I am in the name of testimony. Thanks Nana but no thanks.'' She said with such gusto Nana was forced to back out for a few seconds, but she wasn't about to give up now. Maybe this time she might actually be able to knock some sense into this young lady- or so she thought.
''So, what do we do now? How much longer till you break down totally eh? Answer me miss know-it-all. Do you think it's easy to watch you move like a ghost daily, only to sleep and have those incessant nightmares?''
Altine was about to cut in again. ''I am not finished'' Nana said with a raise of her hand.
''You don't relate with anyone, you are grossly underweight and you refuse all help offered.'' Nana was almost crying.
''The last time I checked, you were someone and I had opened up to you.''
''You know what I mean silly''
''Yeah, yeah I know. See let's get back to bed she said quickly like she couldn't wait to get back to her dream.'' She jumped into bed.